Many Bitcoin owners are asking the question: How do you use cryptocurrency?
Of course, cryptocurrency can be used to pay for food, equipment or clothing. But how about taking a trip using cryptocurrency – does it work for that? And if so, how?
How to use cryptocurrency for travel
One of the newest industries to adopt cryptocurrency as a payment option is travel. It’s now possible to buy air tickets, accommodation, and even transfers and rental cars using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (which you can get here).
Today, you can use Bitcoin to fund your trip to just about anywhere in the world. No more fussing about having to exchange money for local currency when travelling!
Intrigued? Here’s a guide on how you can book your next vacation on the blockchain, and some tips on how to stay safe while you’re doing it.
Bitcoin travel platforms
As with all products and services you may want to buy with Bitcoin, you need to know the right places to go. Usually, these are online platforms or services that specialise in cryptocurrency payments.
When finding a platform to spend a cryptocurrency on, make sure that:
- It is safe and has a good reputation.
- It has good customer service in case something goes wrong.
- It has reasonable prices and currency conversion rates.
- It is available in your country.
There are multiple Bitcoin travel platforms to choose from these days. Here are some popular examples.
Bitcoin.Travel is an excellent solution for booking various travel-related products. These include hotels, flights, transfers and cars. The website looks and feels just like the mainstream travel sites – Expedia or Booking.com. Just enter your itinerary requirements and see what’s available for booking with your crypto.
Bitcoin.Travel has been featured in Time Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes and other media outlets, so its reputation is solid so far. Here you can find flight deals for as low as £14 ($19).
Through cooperation with BitBay, the platform allows you to pay for your trip with 50 different cryptocurrencies – from Bitcoin and Ethereum to Neo and Iota.
TravelByBit is another Bitcoin travel website that allows you to pay with all the regular payment options, but also with cryptocurrency if you wish. You can even save 1.5% on credit card fees if you pay with crypto. And there’s also a helpful blog with basic information about cryptocurrency if you need to get up to speed.
TravelbyBit specialises in flights. However, the services now also include accommodation and activities since the company merged with Travala.com, one of the biggest accommodation and activity-booking platforms in the industry. Together they create a powerful online crypto travel agency.
The company is financially backed by Binance – one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. So you know it’s the real deal.
XcelTrip is a platform for booking flights and hotels. However, XcelTrip promotes itself as not a travel service, but a “decentralised travel ecosystem”. You can pay with Bitcoin, BinanceCoin, Ethereum, XcelToken (their native token), Verge, Litecoin, Dash and others. The site is also available in English, Korean, and Chinese.
XcelTrip has a pretty good rating on Trustpilot too — a “Great” rank based on 30 reviews. It’s also been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Crunchbase.
Purchase of plane tickets
Apart from these comprehensive travel platforms, there are also more specific online vendors.
A great example for buying airplane tickets is Alternative Airlines. This dedicated service lets you buy plane tickets all around the world with Bitcoin. There are flights from over 600 airlines you can choose from.
Alternative Airlines has made this service available by partnering with crypto payment companies like Utrust and crypto.com. These companies provide safe crypto payments and have been around for a while, so it’s likely your payments will be handled well. You can check out their positive third-party online reviews – the platform has an “Excellent” rating based on over 2,000 reviews on Trustpilot.
Currently, the number-one crypto accommodation booking site is Travala.com. Here you can book hotels and other accommodation in countries all over the world. The most popular destinations include Vietnam, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Denmark, Indonesia, Russia and Thailand.
Travala ticks all of the boxes of a reliable travel platform. It has a fantastic reputation, with an “Excellent” rating on Trustpilot based on 1,000 reviews, so it must be doing something right. It has 24/7 customer service, it is available all over the world and it offers a best-price guarantee.
Travala’s revenues rose 141% in the second quarter of 2021, in part due to its merger with TravelbyBit. If they keep up this tendency, it may soon become the best place to book vacations with cryptocurrency.
Tips for cryptocurrency tourists
If you’re planning to go on vacation using your cryptocurrency, here are some important things to keep in mind.
First, keep your cryptocurrency safely stored at all times. The best way to do this is by using different ways of storing your digital tokens. For example, use a hardware wallet to keep some crypto offline. You’ll be using public wifi a lot while you’re away, so make sure you have a backup.
Second, find out in advance what places and venues accept cryptocurrency in the place you are travelling to. This way, you won’t waste your valuable vacation time doing online researching.
An easy way to do this is a quick search on Coinmap before you leave to see what you can do with crypto at your destination.
The entire travel industry hasn’t quite caught up with cryptocurrency yet. If you want to travel exclusively with crypto, you’ll be an early adopter. As such, you’ll need to take extra care to keep yourself and your crypto safe while you’re away. Make sure to do your research and choose reliable and secure vendors for your crypto vacation. Safe travels!